All About Glaucoma for National Eye Exam Month
This August, we’re all about vision. In honor of National Eye Exam Month, we’ve collected the most-asked questions (and answers) about glaucoma, the most prevalent eye disease in the country. If you’re concerned that you or someone you love could have glaucoma, gather the facts below and make sure you share them with your loved ones!
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma describes a group of diseases that cause vision trouble and blindness. Although each illness is unique, they all cause damage to the optic nerve.
What are the most common forms of glaucoma?
Most patients are diagnosed with primary open-angle glaucoma or angle-closure glaucoma.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Symptoms of primary open-angle glaucoma include:
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include:
- Blurry vision
- Severe eye pain
- Red eyes
- Halos surrounding lights
How is glaucoma detected?
Your ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive exam that consists of five tests. They include:
- Tonometry: Measures inner eye pressure
- Ophthalmoscopy: Assesses the optic nerve color and shape
- Perimetry: Tests your field of vision
- Pachymetry: Measures corneal thickness
- Gonioscopy: Measures the angle where the iris and cornea meet
Early detection is essential in meeting glaucoma head-on. Make sure to schedule annual eye exams, and call your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.
Is there a cure for glaucoma?
No. But there are a number of treatments available that can minimize damage.
What are the treatment options for glaucoma?
There are five primary types of glaucoma medication. They include:
- Alpha Agonist: Helps your eyes produce fluid and encourages drainage
- Beta Blocker: Reduces the production of intraocular fluid
- Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors: Decreases eye pressure
- Cholinergic Prostaglandin Analogs: Increases the eye’s outflow of intraocular fluid
- Cholinergic: Increases intraocular fluid drainage
If you have a serious case of glaucoma, your doctor may recommend laser or conventional surgery to mitigate its effects.
The best way to tackle glaucoma is through early detection and aggressive treatment. If you haven’t had an eye exam recently, schedule one to give yourself peace of mind. Should you become diagnosed with glaucoma, see if you qualify for Simplefill’s prescription assistance program. Simplefill provides medication assistance so you can focus on living well. Get in touch today to see if you’re eligible!